The average Nigerian has a serious generalization problem, as you can see from this first sentence, and subsequent others. You remember back then in secondary school, teachers cured autism, Down syndrome and ADHD with the time-tested and trusted remedy – cane, pankere or koboko, depending on where you schooled and how well paid the teachers were. No one cared to diagnose or do anything remotely medical. No. They summed it all under single words – stubborn, mumu, dullard. It is only recently that we discovered that Nigerian children are not from Mars, that they suffer the same ailment as children in other developed countries. Back then, it wasn’t like that, I miss those days.
Today we shall look at another serious problem, one we either ignore in Nigeria or simply put under such well researched scientific phrases like: ‘spiritual attack’, ‘it’s from the village’, ‘enemies at work’. While I am sure the above phrases are quite valid in certain situations, for example, the constant advertisement of our current president like soap on NTA, and the firm belief of SCOAN members that a UFO destroyed the church building in Lagos, we shall still have to take a look at the problem
This problem is termed the ‘midlife crisis.’ It occurs, to be very specific, anytime between the ages of 23 – 60; if you are above sixty, it is called ‘senility’.
What are the symptoms?
Well, usually you notice that the sufferer reverts to wearing clothing far below his age. You see a man of about thirty suddenly revert to wearing carrot jeans, toms shoes and baseball caps, or you see a man of sixty dressed in baggy shorts, an oversized polo and canvas shoe. Somewhere in the brain, the precise spot responsible for clothing choices snaps. It is equally important to note that some people are born this way; good examples are Denrele, Adams Oshiomole etcetera.
If the sufferer is female, she reverts to the tight jeans of her teenage years, spaghetti tops and high heels, thereby subjecting people to random shock, as she passes by, her stomach fighting a battle with the buttons on the jean, and the jeans usually losing, with stretch marks like patchwork everywhere, to mention but a few.
While this very serious symptom manifests, the sufferer develops a thick skin to insults and staring. They may even get bolder as the crisis progresses, until one day, you’ll come across a man in his late sixties dressed like a ten year old whose parents cannot afford this year’s Christmas cloth, so he has to make do with that of last year.
Another symptom is sudden changes in lifestyle, the sufferer will suddenly revert to his childhood dreams and decide that he shouldn’t have let go of his chance to make it in the music industry when he was young, or he should have gone into the fine art practised by Nollywood, and perhaps it’s not too late to kick-start that career. We have very good examples in Cynthia Morgan, Olu Jacobs, etc.
The sufferer may also quit his current job and even divorce his wife of twenty-seven years to marry a girl who calls him baby; all this is a sort of return to the fetus.
How can you deal with such changes?
- If the sufferer is a parent, share your clothes with them. If they feel like partying, take them along with you; the Kardashians are great role models in this regard.
- If the sufferer is a spouse, humor their new choices, if they threaten divorce, poison them.
- Usually it wears off after the first stroke. If it doesn’t, see a doctor, any doctor would do.
Written by Chika Jones, tweets at @chika_jones